By Arielle Dollinger
Centerport catering hall The Thatched Cottage is under new ownership – and, in the coming months, will take a new name – following the Wednesday bankruptcy auction that concluded with a $4.65-million sale.
The property is now the responsibility of Yama Raj, executive director of Bethpage catering hall The Sterling. Raj and his father, P.L. Raj, both of Bethpage, also own “a few small things” in Ohio, including a restaurant and a motel.
“The numbers were decent and fair,” the younger Raj said of the price he paid for the Thatched Cottage property.
The pair, along with business partner Deven Patel, will take over “within a few months,” Yama Raj said. When hiring staff, they will look at some former Thatched Cottage employees, he said, and will be hiring a minimum of 30 people.
Former owner Ralph Colamussi, who was hospitalized on Tuesday after an apparent suicide attempt, was not in direct connection with the auction; the case was in the name of Operating Trustee Ken Barnard, who was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“We put on a little bit of extra security,” Barnard said, noting that there was concern after Tuesday’s incident.
There was no consideration of postponing the auction, he said.
According to Barnard, the catering hall will continue to host events as The Thatched Cottage until Oct. 6.
The bankruptcy auction comes after Colamussi’s months-long battle with what Barnard said was a debt millions of dollars more than the amount for which the property sold.
The second highest bidder offered $4.6 million.